The NBA Finals this year are the same as last year.
Unless you’re a diehard NBA fan, anything less than defending champion Golden State against the Cleveland Cavaliers would be one big yawn.
The Finals begin tonight and match far and away the two biggest stars in the game in unanimous MVP Steph Curry and former MVP LeBron James.
There’s no love lost between these superstars. It’s not like Magic and Bird, who were the ultimate competitors but had great respect for each other.
Curry is nothing short of amazing, but so is his confidence, arrogance and swagger. I’m not a big fan of cocky people, but as the late Dizzy Dean used to say, “it ain’t bragging if you can do it.”
Curry has revolutionized the NBA with his 3-point shooting as he’s a threat just past midcourt. Not only does he have unlimited range, but he can get off his shot with a hand in his face and the net barely moves.
James, on the other hand, still regards himself as “The King.” He has a more-rounded game than Curry, but is far outclassed as a shooter. James gets his points through brute strength as he’s a once-in-a-generation athlete. He has a rare combination of size and strength, the likes we haven’t seen since Magic, though he’s more athletic.
If we had to wait until June to view The Finals, at least we got the matchup we wanted. Golden State will rely on its vaunted duo of Curry and Klay Thompson, who rival other Batman and Robin duos like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, for those who go way back.
The Warriors’ X-factor is Draymon Green, a versatile big man who may be the biggest whiner in NBA history, or least the biggest since Rasheed Wallace hung it up. Green plays with cruel intentions and truth be told, is the team’s emotional leader.
The Warriors are unconventional in that they’re at their best when Green plays in the post. They have smashed the NBA stereotype that you have to have a big man to be successful.
Cleveland plays in the paltry Eastern Division, which is littered with the dregs of what is a mediocre league. To me, the Cavaliers are the best of the worst, as LeBron hoists this team on his back.
For this series to be competitive, Kevin Love has to find his old magic from his Minnesota days and Kyrie Irving has to harness his considerable talent and actually get his teammates involved.
I don’t see it happening. The Warriors win six – if it even goes that far.